- Eline van Bloois
Pint of Science Amsterdam event 2022 - meet the speakers
After two years of online events, Pint of Science is back in your local pub! Pint22 will be hosting Science talks from May 9-11 and you will be able to enjoy mind-blowing scientific talks with a cold beer in your hand at your local bar in Amsterdam. We are really excited to present you the preview of this year’s Pint22 festival.
The festival will kick off with the first event on Monday May 9th that is all about Sustainable Foods. The first speaker, Daan Luining, from Meatable will introduce us to the topic of Lab grown meat and Avis Nugroho will try to convince us “Why plant-based fermentation is the latest trend.” The event will take place at Café Checkpoint Charlie. Read below interesting facts from the speakers about their talks.
At Meatable, we love meat. We see it as an essential part of a balanced diet. However, what we don't love is industrial farming. Because it is bad for the planet. And, of course, cruel for the animals too. Thus, we are pioneering a way of producing real meat without harm. To note: lab meat is definitely real meat. Identical on every level, without any of the drawbacks. It is efficient and harm-free as the production just takes a couple of weeks and no animals need to be slaughtered. It is sustainable, since we don’t need 1.799 gallons of water to produce just 1lb of beef and according to Oxford, lab grown meat could cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 96%. But most importantly, it is delicious. How we do it? First we take a sample from an unharmed cow or pig. Then we replicate the natural process of fat and muscle growth, and mix the two elements together to produce meat. Real, succulent, delicious meat. A new natural process.
- Daan Luining
Today, we got various World’s Best Restaurants that experiment and use fermentation heavily in their menu. We see fermentation clubs and traditional fermented foods such as sourdough and kombucha make a ‘comeback’. People exchange their starter cultures, and the knowledge around fermentation propagates like a virus. Fermentation is what the vegan evangelists can agree on and bond with the hardcore scientists. It is something that is so accessible that almost anyone can practice. Indeed, fermentation is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, and it makes up a significant part of the diet in many countries. However, fermentation is also a highly dynamic process, and it remains a challenge to steer its outcome. During my Ph.D., I studied how we can modulate flavor development in cheese ripening. This goes in different directions: increasing yield, slowing down formation, or degrading them. Little did I expect that such knowledge would eventually prove to be highly relevant in protein transition. Flavor is a significant issue of protein transition, and many people find grassy, greeny, or beany characteristics in plant-derived proteins to be undesirable. In contrast, traditionally vegan and fermented foods such as tempeh and miso do not contain perceivable off-flavors and have been long celebrated for their taste.
Daan Luining is co-founder and CTO of Meatable. In 2013 he contributed to the world’s first cultivated hamburger. Later he became the research director at New Harvest in New York, an NGO that funds academic research on cultured meat. This is where he started to think about the huge gap in Europe when it comes to cellular farming and cultured meat. This thought has led him to idea of co-founding Meatable together with Krijn de Nood (CEO) and Mark Kotter (Advisor). Meatable is an innovative food company that strives to produce sustainable cultivated meat at a large scale.
Avis is fascinated by the science and technology behind our food. More than 15 years ago he started to spent a great deal of time experimenting at home with fermentation and the harvest of his parents’ garden. Following the accidental invention of a wine made from the flowers of Averrhoa bilimbi, understanding how microbes transform a raw material and create complex flavors has become his personal and professional goal.
The second event on Tuesday May 10th will take place at the bar De Nieuwe Anita. During this event, Renée Visser and Sophie Rameckers will talk about Intrusive thoughts which occur in everyday life and across disorders, including how these intrusions can be treated in clinical practice:
Intrusions are thoughts or mental images that come to mind unbidden, and that interrupt what we were doing at the time. Sitting at your desk, you may wonder whether you turned off the gas, and the taste of beer might bring a vivid memory of a recent King’s Day where you had a few too many. Such intrusions are very normal, as everyone experiences them from time to time, and they usually don’t cause a lot of problems or distress. However, intrusions become problematic when they are very disruptive and/or distressing and can be a symptom of a mental disorder. For example, someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can have unwanted intrusions about things that might happen if they don’t act in a certain way (“If I don’t touch the doorhandle until it feels right, my mother will get hurt”). Intrusions are also common after traumatic experiences, where people might suddenly re-experience the smell of burnt rubber, the sound of explosive blasts or someone screaming. Such intrusions usually abate with time, but in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), distressing intrusions persist, and people tend to do things to stop them (e.g., avoid certain situations that trigger intrusions), which is often counterproductive. Fortunately, we have treatments that are effective at reducing intrusions.
- Renée Visser (left) & Sophie Rameckers (right)
Renée Visser is an assistant professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, with a background in cognitive neuroscience. In her research, Renée aims to gain a better understanding of the flexible nature of emotional memories, such as how and when they are formed, retrieved, and modified, and how they influence our behavior. She has been part of a working group focusing on defining intrusive thinking and its underlying neurocognitive mechanisms.
Sophie Rameckers, is a PhD-candidate at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. In her research, she mainly focuses on novel treatments of PTSD. Her main interest is currently on PTSD due to traumatic childhood experiences, as such early-life experiences can have a broad impact on our lives.
For the ones who are interested: here is a link to a freely available book about intrusive thinking.
During this event, real-life examples of intrusive thoughts will be used. As every person is different it would be amazing to use (anonymous) examples from members from the audience. Help us by clicking on the button below and filling out the form (also if you have no intrusive thoughts)!
The last event of the festival on Wednesday May 11th takes place at the bar House of Watt. During this event, Ramon Creyghton, Mareike Berger and Michelle Habets will discuss the topic of Synthetic life:
Cycling through the city of Amsterdam in spring is a real joy: Fresh, green leaves are growing on the trees, flowers are blooming at every street corner and the city is bursting with life! But what is driving this continuous cycle of life? And how can we understand the mystery of life? Every living organism is made of cells, and the smallest unit of life is a single cell. It is part of biology to study cells in a lab. Synthetic biology takes that a step further, and aims to recombine or reshape elements of life, or even make new life in a lab. The question becomes: what ingredients do you need to mix together in order to create something that is 'living’? One essential ingredient of every living cell is the DNA: It contains all the relevant information for building the cell. DNA is a very long molecule. Every cell in our bodies even has two meters of DNA! But those cells are about ten times smaller than a human hair. How do you make that fit? And all of it needs to be passed on to the next generation, when cells copy themselves and split in two. How can that be organized?
- Ramon Creyghton & Mareike Berger
The creation of synthetic life is expected to revolutionize biotechnology and lead to new medicines and self-healing materials. It also raises urgent questions about the ethical limits of research, how synthetic life will change our society, and who owns this new life. We need to address these issues timely so scientists can take ethical and socioeconomic concerns onboard when shaping this new technology.
- Michelle Habets
Ramon Creyghton and Mareike Berger are theoretical physicists. In their talk “Shaken, not stirred: a recipe to make life” they explain their method of looking at things the simplest way possible to find a recipe on how and when to combine ingredients like DNA into a working cell.
Michelle Habets studies socially relevant aspects of various developments in the field of synthetic biology, agricultural biotechnology, and medical biotechnology. She is giving the public a voice in shaping the technology to design our future together. During her talk “Designing the rebirth of life” she will address questions like: How far do you think science should go when recreating life? What are your thoughts and concerns about synthetic life?
Excited to hear more and discuss about these interesting topics while drinking a cold beer? Don’t hesitate to register for the events of your interest, because we have a limited amount of spots! There is FREE ticketing for the events on May 9th and 10th, for the event on May 11th you can buy a ticket for €5,- (one drink included).
Hope to see you there!
Pint of Science team Amsterdam